All Hail Social Media!

When it came to Twitter, I was the first to scoff. Why on earth would anyone want to know what I am doing? But eventually as I blogged less frequently, I found that tweets linked to this blog allowed me to be short and sweet. My life still isn’t exciting but it’s the following that I love.

Without social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, I wouldn’t know about the immigration protest at the Federal Building near my house today. I wouldn’t necessarily know where to donate my haircut clippings to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf. I wouldn’t know the goings-on of friends from high school and college. And I know when my favorite blogs have new postings. It’s these bite-size bits of knowledge that allow me to not retreat in a cocoon of Baby A, M., kitties and email. (So easy to do.)

The bottom line: before you knock it, try it. From one convert, this may streamline your information feed and at the end of the day, don’t we all want things to be easier.

All Hail Social Media!

I Prefer Paper

Photo by bravenewtraveler

Today I received an email announcing that the iPad will be at my local Apple store on Saturday. One friend announced his excitement on Facebook when his pre-ordered one had shipped. And ELLE sent me a reader survey asking me whether I would forgo the print version for the iPad one that they’re launching.

My answer is no. I will not be spending my reading hours basking in the glow of an iPad. I love magazines for a variety of reasons but one of the latest greatest reasons is that they give me a break from the eye fatigue that my computer’s LCD glow gives me. There is nothing better for me than to spend an evening in bed surrounded by kitties and reading a magazine. It gives my brain a break, calms me and prepares me to sleep.

Technology can be good, and who knows, I may have an iPad one day. But I know that I will enjoy my favorite magazines the old school way—printed on paper.

I Prefer Paper

The 20-Year Itch: Part Two

Forget what I said before. I went to my high school reunion. Thanks to Facebook.

On Saturday, I was on Facebook and noticed that photos from the Friday night pre-social were posted. Flipping through the 40-or-so pictures I started to really want to see some of the people shown laughing and drinking. Just then…

“What’s up?” says M.

“I think I’m bummed that I’m not going to my reunion,” I reply.

“Why don’t you go? I’ll watch Baby A.”

“Really?”

Yes, he was serious. It was 2 PM. The party started at 6:30 PM, three hours away. Showered, dressed, and a bit nervous, I made it. Glad I did. I surprised a few people (since apparently they read this blog). But the important thing is that I saw the people I wanted to and reconnected with others that I had forgotten about.

When I left the over-riding thought I had as I drove the three hours back to LA was that I went to school with some remarkable people who are doing great things in the world  around them. I’m proud to a member of a class that has accomplished much.

The 20-Year Itch: Part Two

The 20-Year Itch

At the end of the month, Palm Springs High School’s Class of 1989 will have their 20th reunion. I won’t be there.

It just isn’t in the cards. All the moving parts didn’t fall in line. I didn’t attend my 10-year reunion either. I really had wanted to but my then-inlaws wouldn’t switch the holiday with my parents. So, I ended up in another desert miserable. Which could be the reason why I was looking forward to going this year, despite my own Liz Lemon reunion reality dreams.

All isn’t lost. As my oldest dearest friend pointed out: Because of Facebook, we’ll have more to talk about than what have you been doing for the last 10 or 20 years. In this case: Because of Facebook, I’ve connected with the people I would have wanted to see at my reunion. (There are a few people I still wonder about, but that’s another story.) The social networking site has allowed me to see my high school pals’ kids, support the professional endeavors of producers, musicians, actors and authors that I graduated with, and cheer on those who were making life decisions or falling on rough times. I believe that it will also allow me to keep in contact with these people and try to meet up with them for a drink (coffee or otherwise) when we’re in each other’s hoods.

Thank you Chantal, Beverly, Hyun Sook, Amy, Pam and anyone on the committee that I’m forgetting for planning what I’m sure will be an awesome evening. I look forward to seeing pictures on Facebook.

The 20-Year Itch

The Ma-Ma Sisterhood

The night Alexander was born, my mom said to me: “Welcome to the sorority that is motherhood.” And while our relationship has changed (in a good way) after that night, she was right. Mothers have a camaraderie unlike anything I’ve experienced, especially today.

This morning Baby A and I went for our walk to the coffee shop that we frequent. When I ordered my iced coffee, the woman behind the counter asked “Regular or Decaf?” Could she see that I only slept about four hours last night because A decided he wanted to wake up at 5AM? Yes, she could and not only that, she understood. Her 20-month-old daughter was in a stage of 5 o’clock in the morning wakings. The two of us commiserated about trading sleep for a clean house and the yearning to have our kids sleep until 7 AM again.

Later at the park, A. started playing with a baby girl the same age as he. They started out sharing her ball but eventually my rambunctious son ended up playing catch with her mom. (He loves playing with balls and can for hours.) The woman was so sweet to entertain my son and I tried to reciprocate the favor to her daughter since A. had bogarted the play and the mommy. Baby girl mommy and I talked about baby shoes, development and boy-girl baby differences. It was very natural and you would have thought that the two families had known each other for awhile, not for the 30 minutes our kids were playing.

This also happens virtually. Thousands of mommy social networks prove this, but I tend to experience it on Facebook with the women that I went to high school and college. Post a question and answers will come. Just today a friend asked those with two-year-olds what time does their child wakes (There seems to be a theme, don’t you think?) and the answers came. There is also support and kudos. For women (like myself) who can find themselves at home with just baby and kitties daily it’s comforting to know that there is someone on the other end of the keyboard experiencing (or who experienced) many of the things we are.

Joining the Ma-Ma sisterhood was one of the many surprises about becoming a mother. I’m so glad it’s a good one.

The Ma-Ma Sisterhood

Sending the Best

I love getting birthday cards, especially in this age where everything can be done digitally. When you receive one, it means that the sender went out of his or her way to go the store, read through the thousands displayed, pick the right one for you and then actually mail it in time for it to get to you on your birthday.

My mom is one of those people who remembers everyone’s birthday (even my friends) and makes sure to send him or her a card. I have never been this person. I’ve tried. I’ve made numerous resolutions about it. The closest that I have come is having Plaxo remind me (and now Facebook does too), but even then I don’t always get around to sending a card either by email or snail mail.

To all of those who send birthday cards, continue to do so. They are more appreciated than you know.

Sending the Best

Dry Heat 101

There’s been a lot of complaining from my friends on facebook and twitter about the temperatures reaching triple digits. And yes, 100-plus is hot but know this: if it’s a dry heat it feels about 10 degrees less.

I grew up in Palm Springs and the most miserable summer I endured was the first one I spent in the San Fernando Valley. (It even beat the summers I spent in Chicago. At least there you could possibly get a breeze off the lake.) I’m not sure if it was the smog or the humid or both, but it was 110-degrees of gross. In the Coachella Valley, it was only really unbearable when it hit 120. Otherwise, you could still breathe and go outside. But that seems to have changed. Now that there are more golf course and more green grass, there is more humidity and the summer really can suck. That is why when it’s hot you want it to be truly dry.

In Phoenix, it’s dry. Landscaping is more brown—sand, cacti, palos verde—than green—trees, grass, planted flowers. All of the latter need water, and the more of those things are planted, the more water is in the air, and the more humid it is. Our first (and last) weeks in Phoenix were spent in 95-plus degree heat. It wasn’t bad. Actually it was quite lovely out. The same temperatures would have felt like the middle of hell in the San Fernando Valley, specifically Woodland Hills.  It’s amazing what a lack of water can do to temperature perception. That’s why I’ll take a dry heat any day.

Dry Heat 101